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Air

OHIO DEAL MAY BE MODEL FOR REDUCING CHLOR-ALKALI MERCURY EMISSIONS

A recent agreement requiring an Ohio chemical manufacturer to install equipment to reduce mercury emissions caused by chlorine production may be a model for other states and EPA to follow in preventing similar releases from other chlor-alkali facilities, which are a major source of mercury in the environment.

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CRITICS, SUPPORTERS OF MERCURY RULE QUESTION NEW BENEFITS ANALYSIS

Industry groups and environmentalists are raising concerns about a new benefits analysis EPA plans to conduct as it prepares to finalize its controversial utility mercury emissions rule in March.

Environmental groups, along with some state attorneys general, fear that EPA will use the new analysis to argue against calls for strengthening the rule. At the same time, industry groups say the agency is proposing an inappropriate new method for analyzing mercury's health risks, which could lead the agency to exaggerate the benefits of reducing emissions.

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EPA REBUFFS STATE PUSH FOR CONSISTENT FISH-CONSUMPTION ADVISORIES

EPA and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) are rejecting efforts by several states to harmonize state and federal fish-consumption advisories in order to avoid confusing a population already afraid to eat fish due to mercury contamination, which is largely caused by air pollution. The federal government's reaction is drawing criticism from environmentalists, who say that attitude undermines the goal of the EPA and FDA last year issuing a single, coherent message on fish consumption.

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Utility Urges Expanded Cost-Recovery Policies To Boost Wind Energy Projects

A major California utility is poised to ask federal energy regulators to expand its cost-recovery policies to include the proposed construction of transmission lines to a wind generation field north of Los Angeles. Should regulators agree to the move, it could set an important national precedent by reducing the costs for energy developers to connect clean-energy facilities to the national grid, according to industry sources.

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Administration Moves Controversial Clean Air Waiver For Livestock Operations

The Bush administration appears to be moving forward with its controversial agreement on granting Clean Air Act enforcement exemptions for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), despite speculation by sources outside the government that EPA would likely alter or drop the initiative after repeated delays.

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NAS Study Signals Broad Review Of Air Impacts From NSR Reforms

An upcoming interim report by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) on how it will evaluate the environmental impacts of the Bush administration's new source review (NSR) air permitting reforms may result in conclusions significantly different than past reviews by the Bush administration and state officials, sources say. The study was requested by Congress to resolve controversy over EPA claims about the air quality impacts of the regulatory changes.

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Study Linking Mercury, Autism Prompts Calls For EPA To Tighten Rule

New evidence linking mercury exposure to autism in children is prompting calls for EPA to tighten its proposal to require first-time mercury reductions from the electric power sector. While the study does not claim to prove that mercury exposure causes autism, it provides further evidence that it may be a factor.

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Ohio Deal May Be Model For Reducing Chlor-Alkali Mercury Emissions

A recent agreement requiring an Ohio chemical manufacturer to install equipment to reduce mercury emissions caused by chlorine production may be a model for other states and EPA to follow in preventing similar releases from other chlor-alkali facilities, which are a major source of mercury in the environment.

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7633

New York Settles NSR Case Amid Stalled Federal Enforcement Talks

New York has announced landmark settlements over new source review (NSR) permit violations with two in-state power companies, with the utilities agreeing to historic pollution cuts. The settlement is also significant because it stems from the first NSR suit filed by a state against companies operating inside its borders, and comes as settlement talks between the federal government and other utilities have long been at a standstill.

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SCIENTISTS ACCUSE INDUSTRY OF MANIPULATING MAJOR PM2.5 STUDY FINDINGS

Scientists involved in a major Atlanta-area study on the health effects of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution say the utility group funding the research is "inappropriately" interpreting its initial data as evidence that power plant emissions have a negligible impact on cardiovascular health, when compared to other PM2.5 sources such as mobile source emissions.

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